Thursday, December 24, 2015

What to do on Hoilday Breaks?

Finals week has officially ended (WOOT), and now its time to relax, sleep for long hours and figure out what to do for the holidays. Winter break is short (23 days) yet we get to celebrate two of my favorite holidays, Christmas and New years.

Some students make plans to go visit family in their home country and some of us, myself included, who can't go home due to financial or other reasons, spend the holiday break with friends and/or family in the states.




Quick Fact: Approximately 85% of the students at USU are living away from home. Campus feels a little lonely at times because most students travel home to spend the holidays with their family. However, there is always students that stay in Logan. For us international students, we get together, celebrate and make the best out of the break.

I have spend the Holidays in Logan/ Utah. If you decide to stay in Logan/ Utah for the Holidays, here are some places I recommend visiting and things you can do.


1. Sledding down Old Main! Yes, you don't have to go far to enjoy the snow.














2. Hard Ware Ranch is one of the most magical places I have visited in Logan. There you visit ELKs.


3.Visit the Temple Square lights in Salt Lake City to get into a Holiday spirit.   












4. Skiing and Snowboarding. 

If you have never went skiing/ snowboarding, this is your chance. People from all over the world come to Utah to ski and snowboard. Beaver Mountain is about 40mins away from campus so you and your friends can go skiing/snowboarding any time you want. It will be a cool experience!  




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Winter Break!

Hi Everyone!


Yes, Finals Week is upon us. But, something that is getting closer is our winter break. Winter Break is a 3 week break in between the Fall and Spring Semesters to allow students to have a little breather before getting back to school and starting another busy semester. So, if you are not going back to your home country, what can you do in Utah?


Something that I really like is going down to Salt Lake City. At this time of the year, Temple Square has lights put up. It is so pretty and you get to walk around and feel of the Christmas Spirit.


Another thing that you can do is to go skiing. Depending on how much snow there is, the slopes may be open. And if you don't know how to ski or snowboard, you can always take classes.


What would I advise? Do something that you will never get a chance to do in your home country. Enjoy Logan. And have fun during this break!


Go Aggies!

Exams, exmas...... EXAMS!

Hi everyone. Finals week is around the corner and it can be a very stressful time of the year. Here at USU, the week before finals is known as "dead week". During this week, teachers are not supposed to give and tests, and this is the week where most of our projects and assignments are due. It also gives us a chance to wrap up the semester and to spend more time preparing for our finals. USU also understands how important having places to study is, so the library and computer labs have extended their opening hours to allow more students to stay on campus to study.
There are also many resources on campus that students can use if they need help. There is a free Math and Statistics Tutoring Center. Students that would like to improve their study skills can go to the Academic Success Center to visit with advisors on how you can have better study sessions. And if things are getting a little too rough, we have our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to help.
So. Have a great week!

Go Aggies!   

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

VACATION IS AROUND THE CORNER!

As the finals week is getting closer, international students start getting ready to pack and go home! This is the most exiting time of the year for me because finally after one year and seven months I can go home and see my family and friends. Not everything is awesome because even though I'm really exited to go home, I  cant stop thinking about finals week. You guys probably don't know what "saving the semester" is yet, but I assure you that once you are on your junior year you will understand. To make things simple; I will explain what this means. "Saving the semester" means that the first few months you didn't do good in a class, and your only chance to pass it is to study really hard for the final and pray to get a good grade. well that's me right now! I'm praying to get a good grade in genetics.


Lets forget about all that finals week stress, and lets focus about going back home!
I want to do so many things will I'm there that I cant even plane what I want to do. The only thing that I know for sure that I will do is cry when I step outside of the airport and see my family. I don't know why I always cry when I return home. I guess that after a long time being outside of your country and far from your family there is nothing better than seeing them again! ( or I'm just too emotional-This is very true!). This Christmas is going to be very interesting because my American boyfriend is coming home with me! He DOESNT know much Spanish, and most of my family doesn't speak English. We've been dating for two years and three months already, and this is his first time meeting my family. I think they will love him because he is very kind, funny and loves food. Talking about food... I cant wait to eat Dominican food. This is the second thing that I will for sure do, eat "LA BANDERA DOMINICANA" which is a Dominican plate that has rice, chicken, and beans. Lets not forget our friend the avocado! ummmm know I cant stop thinking about food!!! Like fried plantains with salami, "un sancochito" (which is a type of Dominican food), "moro de guandules" ( type of rice mix with beans), "pastelon de todo tipo" (this is a bake meal, and I said all kinds of it) , and last but not least "batida" which is like a milk shake made out of natural fruit. This is just a little description of what I will be eating, but there is so much more to add to it. I just don't want to make this post too long!


I cant wait to go to the rivers and the beaches. I don't want to brag about it, but we have the most beautiful beaches in the worlds, and I cant wait to go swimming in one of them. They have the most crystalline water and the whiter sand in the entire world. Some of this beautiful places are Bahia de las Aguilas, Punta Cana, Cayo Levantado, Las Terrenas, Sosua, etc.


I love going to Utah State, and living at Logan, but there is nothing like going home. I cant wait to listen to Dominican Christmas songs which are very cheerful, and dance along the rhythm of the tambourines. there is nothing like going back to where you are from after a long journey somewhere else.
    

Go Aggies!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Thanksgiving Break!

All work and no play makes everyone dull! Something that every student looks forward to are the breaks. This past weekend was our Thanksgiving break. In America, there are so many different holidays that many international students would never have the chance of experiencing if they were not in America. One of my particular favorites is Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday is used to help us remember the things that we are thankful for. It also gives families a chance to get together and helps to build stronger ties within family and friends. I know that many international students do not have families here. So how do we celebrate Thanksgiving? We have our friends to be thankful for. This year, I went to a friend's farm near Logan to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. I got to have my favorite turkey!
Another thing that we have this Thanksgiving season is snow. Lots and lots of snow! I come from a country where we do not have the four seasons and I have never seen snow. Coming to USU, I was able to have the experience of living in a country where it snows. And when it snows in Logan, we get a lot. So please remember to dress warm and enjoy the beautiful scenery that that snow brings as well.

Go Aggies!

Housing

When coming to USU, the one common thing that every student has to go through is to select housing. The decision of whether to stay on-campus or off-campus can be a very important one. In my first year, I made the decision to stay on-campus in the Mountain View Towers, which is an all male housing. This proved to be a very pivotal decision for me because it helped me to settle into life here at USU. I was able to make many friends and learn the culture of being here in Logan. Many of the friends that I made still remain close friends till this day. You also have the opportunity to be involved in many fun activities that the Housing Department puts on for the students.
I would recommend every student coming to USU to look into staying on-campus. It is a great way to kick off your first semester here and to soak in the life here in USU and Logan. Plus, being on campus makes it easier to go to your classes. And it is very safe too!

Go Aggies!

Events on Campus

Ever since I knew that I was coming to USU to study I have been looking forward to going to the sporting events. I had heard before coming here that our fans were the best in the nation and I wanted to experience it for myself firsthand. Naturally, when I had the chance to attend the football and basketball games, I jumped at the opportunity to do so.
First, let me tell you about the football games. The Maverick Stadium is where the football games are played. We have thousands of fans ranging from students to teachers, even alumni coming back to support the Aggies. As students, we get free tickets to the games which we can collect from the card office. One of my most memorable games that I have ever been to is the one where we played the University of Utah in my first year. It was such a close game. We even went into overtime and eventually won! All the fans in the stand rushed onto the field to congratulate and celebrate with the players. What an amazing experience!
Our basketball games are just as intense. Our fans go all out and cheer for our team throughout the whole game. Being in the Spectrum with that many fans and cheering along gives me such a sense of pride and it is so fun! Oh. Basketball games are free to students too!
If you are ever in Logan, going to one of our sporting events is a must. I look forward to cheering alongside you soon!

Go Aggies!

USU INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK AT A GLANCE


International Education Week is an annual event held at schools throughout the country to celebrate the benefits of international education, international students and diversity. Utah State participated by organizing various events to highlight international students and their cultures, and students study abroad experiences. I was able to attend most of the events and I had a blast.




 













MR. & MISS INTERNATIONAL was the first event of the week. International and multicultural students presented their native culture through dress, talent and video to compete for the Mr. & Miss international title. We had participants representing the Dominican Republic, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Miss Dominican and Mr. India took the tile for Miss and Mr. International this year. All the participants did great showcasing their unique talents while representing their cultures. 



AROUND THE WORLD FAMILY NIGHT
Consisted of fun activities including international fashion show and cultural performances open for USU students and community.



STUDY ABROAD PHOTO CONTEST
Displayed photos from USU students’ recent study abroad adventures. Picture with the most vote won a prize.


DIWALI - "The Festival of Lights"
The Indian Student Association put together the annual 'Festival of Light' celebration through great performances, great food and games. This event was my favorite. I had borrowed an Indian outfit and got to pretend to be Indian for the night. Aside from that, I won prizes for wearing a traditional outfit to the event.
Do I pass for Indian or what? lol

 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

International week!

International Education Week is an annual event that is there to help students expand their horizon about the diversity here on USU's campus through various sub-events throughout the week. The event will include exciting activities such as: a fashion show, a family night, a photo contest, guest speakers, food and fun games.


This week is celebrated with enthusiasm by all the international students on campus, like me! This week allow the students to share their culture through events where they can explain to everyone how living in their country is like by sharing their food, dances, and more.


We stared the international week off by celebrating the Mr. and Miss international pageant where a group of students from different countries competed for the crown. To win the crown; the students had to make an introductory video explaining who they are, how living in their country is like, and other things about themselves. They also had to put up a talent show that reassemble their cultures, and finally they had to answer a question selected by the judges. At the end of the night Mr. India and Miss Dominican Republic were crown as the Mr. and Miss International 2015-2016.


We also had the around the world family night where the international student council together with all the international clubs put on a night for the international families to enjoy. Here we had performances from the different clubs, and from the new Mr. and miss international. Also each club had a table set up where they had videos, objects and food typical from their country. Let's not forget that we also had Aggie Ice-cream.


On the next couple of days we will also have other interesting events like:
  • The study abroad photo contest where you can view photos from USU students' recent study abroad adventures, and you can vote for your favorite ones, and others.